Summer is when we (well some of us)  turn our thoughts to statistics; we have put the call out for stats for the past year.  A cleaned-up wiki page will make it a little bit easier for everyone to find those pesky numbers (some going back quite a few years) and spot interesting trendlines.  There’s a gigantic spreadsheet of all the stats that we had harvested across all departments last fall.  We’re going to break this up so it’s easier to reference (and maintain). If you want to know more (surely someone does!) you can explore this work in progress via the “Library Statistics”  link on the REKL wiki home page.

I got a sneak preview yesterday of the fantastic graphics work that our student designers are doing on fall outreach materials, including the new faculty guide, and student and faculty “z-fold” handouts that feature all kinds of helpful information and can fit in your pocket. New student t-shirts are in the works, and I’ve heard that the temporary tattoos this year will be fantastic.

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On Sabbatical

When I was five years old my professor-father went on sabbatical.  It was as much our sabbatical though as it was his: a difficult and magical “year off” in a strange country; and it changed us all.  It dawned on me only much later, that my young father did “real” work that year (academic research).  Recently I learned that my childish impression actually fit the original meaning of the word “sabbatical” – the history of a Hebrew commandment requiring that everyone – owners, workers, even the animals – desist from working the fields in the seventh year.  Debts were also forgiven in the sabbatical year. (I found an interesting article on the sabbatical as a form of distributive justice.) Today, some people are asking if the end of the sabbatical – which only became a mainstay of academia at the end of the 19th century –  is nigh.    

Have a wonderful weekend,